President Muhammadu Buhari says the South-eastern part of Nigeria has stronger voice in his cabinet compared to the North.
Mr. Buhari said this on Friday at a meeting with leaders from the South-eastern region who visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mr. Buhari, who was speaking against allegations of marginalisation of people from the South-east by his administration, said, “I gave South-east four substantive ministers in the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment, Science and Technology and Labour.
“Seven states in the North got Ministers of State and of the two Ministries headed by your sons, I cannot take any decision on foreign policy and investments without their input,’’ he said.
Mr. Buhari also told the delegation that the South-east region will benefit more from roads and coastal rail projects, which are of critical importance to the economy.
He said the Second Niger Bridge, the East-West Road and the coastal rail project, are receiving utmost attention from his administration.
The president said counterpart funding from the Chinese government would substantially fund these projects, which when completed would improve the welfare, well-being and economy of the people in the region.
“I know the Chinese are very competent in handling such projects and we will ensure that we get the money for the projects to take off,” he said.
Mr. Buhari thanked the leaders for the visit and assured them that their demands will be met.
“…I want to assure that we are doing our best for the country. If we can stop people from stealing, then there will be more resources to put into projects that will create employment for Nigerians,’’ the president said.
The president also promised the leaders, led by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and comprising of governors and ministers from the region,as well as the President of Ohanaeze, John Nwodo, and representatives from the National Assembly, that he will visit states in the zone soon.
“I want to assure you that I came into government with a clear conscience and I will also leave with a clear conscience,’’ he said.